We received a nice letter last December from Wes and Dorothy Mohling about their 1915 40 HP Case, and asked for more information by letter. Not having heard, we telephoned one April afternoon and were lucky enough to talk to Mrs. Mohling.
She said she would prefer to have us talk to Wes, but he was out making preparations to plant corn. So she was kind enough to fill us in.
Among the questions we asked was one that can bring some unusual answers 'How did you happen to get this engine?'
'He's always been interested in steam engines, and hoped he would find one. We went to a sale at Sargent, Nebraska, when this was offered and he happened to be the last bidder.'
We agreed. That's the way we do it. And if you really want an engine and are not the last bidder, you may go away from the sale very bitter.
The sale was held at Warren Bomberger's on August 16, 1980. The Mohlings knew nothing of the engine's history but started an effort to find out what they could. The engine had either been restored or was well preserved; it was painted and in working order when Wes made that memorable bid.
Wes found out that it had belonged to the city government of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and wrote to ask if there were any official records. He had the serial number, 31196, but the Cheyenne people said they had checked the records and found nothing. So he is still seeking.
Last summer the Mohlings planted three acres in oats. They went out with the binder and shocked it, then threshed part of it with the Case and their 28' 'Red River Special' separator.
The Case can be converted into a road roller. The rear wheels have cleats that can be removed; the front end is made so that the wheels can be taken off for installation of a roller. So far, Wes has not been able to find a roller. The engine also has power steering.
Wes obtained some advice from Forrest Pence, of Harvard, Nebraska, who has several engines. 'He helped Wes when we threshed our field,' Mrs. Mohling noted.
The couple went to shows at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and Bird City, Kansas last year, but thus far have not taken the engine with them.
The Mohlings plant mainly corn. Son, Steve, farms with them, and has a 200-sow unit, in which the parents have an interest.